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Trump Agrees with Roy Moore; Sexual Allegations Excuses No One; North Korea Violates Armistice Agreement. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired November 22, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Roy Moore denies it. He totally denies it. He says it didn't happen. And, you know, you have to listen to him also.


ISHA SESAY, HOST, CNN: The headline President Trump breaks his silence and all but endorses disgraced Senate candidate Roy Moore. How this could be political miscalculation.

Then the Russian leader taking the lead on a possible peace deal in Syria. His hour-long talk with Trump and Putin's next move in the fight against ISIS.


The life and legacy of actor/singer David Cassidy, dead at 67.

Hello, welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Isha Sesay live in Los Angeles.

Well, for weeks in the U.S. lurid accusations of sexual misconduct have been leveled at powerful men in show business, the news media and in politics. One of those men, Alabama's republican Senate candidate, Roy Moore.

And now the U.S. president is at least speaking out to defend Moore's candidacy. That's despite several women who have accused Moore of unwanted sexual advances when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.

Donald Trump has a lot of stake in the Senate race. He needs every single republican vote he can get to pass tax reform. And if Moore can't overcome this scandal, well, then a democrat Doug Jones could take that Senate seat. One source says Mr. Trump also didn't want to anger his base by siding with the republican establishment trying to force more out of the race.

Jeff Zeleny has all the latest developments.

JEFF ZELENY, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: President Trump made clear today he would rather have an accused child molester in the Senate than a democrat.


TRUMP: We don't need a liberal person in there, a democrat, Jones.


ZELENY: The president weighing in publicly for the first time in Alabama's explosive Senate race, saying he accepts Moore's denials over the stories of eight women who have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct.


TRUMP: Let me just tell you, Roy Moore denies it. That's all I can say. He denies it. And by the way, he totally denies it.


ZELENY: For days, the White House has said the race should be left to the voters of Alabama. Republican leaders have distanced themselves from Moore. But today Mr. Trump offered a full presidential embrace.


TRUMP: He says it didn't happen. And, you know, you have to listen to him also. You're talking about he said 40 years ago this did not happen.


ZELENY: He even said he may go campaign for Moore, all in hopes of keeping the seat in republican hands. He went on to openly disparage Doug Jones, the democratic candidate with a history of fighting the Ku Klux Klan.


TRUMP: I can tell you for a fact we do not need somebody that's going to be bad on crime, bad on borders, bad with the military, bad or to the Second Amendment.


ZELENY: The president's words put him at odds with his daughter Ivanka Trump, who said last week there was a special place in hell for people who molest children. That sharp criticism is now the subject of a campaign ad from Jones.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Conservative voices putting children and women over party, doing what's right.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ZELENY: Despite those words from the president, he still accepted Roy

Moore's denials in this, saying essentially he believes them over the stories of those eight women who have come forward in the recent weeks to talk about sexual misconduct, and in one case, sexual abuse and even assault.

In the words of one person close to the White House, the reason the president is doing this, all the noise and confusion over the tidal wave of allegations from Hollywood to media to politics have simply added more noise and confusion to this entire matter, making it easier and easier for the president to stick with Moore.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, West Palm Beach, Florida.

SESAY: Meanwhile, a new development in another story we're following for you. An investigation has been launched into sexual harassment allegations made against democratic Representative John Conyers. He vehemently denies the allegations.

Our Sunlen Serfaty reports from Washington.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Top of the morning.


SUNLEN SERFATY, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Explosive allegations against Congressman John Conyers, the longest serving member of the House. Confidential documents obtained by BuzzFeed show a series of accusations and complaints filed in 2014 against the Michigan democrat by former unnamed women on his staff alleging the congressman repeatedly asked for sexual favors, and once asked her to work from his hotel room one evening where she alleges he told her he needed to touch his private parts.

[03:05:05] In another incident, she alleges the congressman asked her to stay in his hotel room "to just cuddle up with me and caress me before you go."

The complaint leading to a wrongful firing settlement in 2015 to one woman who alleges she was fired for refusing the congressman's advances, a $27,000 settlement paid out directly to her from the congressman's office.

Still using taxpayer money, but not from the fund set up to handle settlements within the U.S. treasury. CNN has not confirmed the allegations or seen the documents involved.

Conyers today expressly and vehemently denied the allegations of sexual misconduct. But acknowledged a payment was made by his office to the accuser. Quote, "My office resolved the allegations within an express denial of liability," Conyers says, in order to save all involved from the rigors of protracted litigation.

Calls on Capitol Hill today from members of his own party, including house minority leader Nancy Pelosi for an ethics investigation.


BEN CARDIN, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I just heard about the congressman Conyers issue. These allegations are extremely serious and must be dealt with in a serious manner.


SERFATY: This as pressure continues to mount on Senator Al Franken, who has been laying low since his own accusations of sexual misconduct have surfaced, while democrats are struggling to answer questions if he should resign.


ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: These allegations are serious and women have a right to be heard and listened to on this. Al is going to be subjected to a hearing in the United States Senate, an investigation.


SERFATY: Sunlen Serfaty, CNN, Washington.

SESAY: Joining me now to discuss all of the day's fast-moving developments is Michael Genovese, president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University. Michael, always good to see you.


SESAY: After days of hearing that from the White House that they weren't going to put their finger on the scale, so to speak, when, you know, when it comes down to that Senate race in Alabama and whether Roy Moore should be elected, the president on Tuesday basically all but endorses him, as you heard. And essentially embraced an accused child molester, leading many to ask the question why the president would make such a move. What is your sense of the calculation at play here?

GENOVESE: Well, it was signaled the day before when Kellyanne Conway went on TV and said we needed the vote. And I think that's the answer. And then Donald Trump today, it was an awkward semi endorsement. But he basically said the same thing. We want your vote.

And so it's really a cold hard calculation of numbers. It's a very slim majority. They have big issues, especially tax cuts. They need that vote. And it's all about power. It's not about whether or not this person is a child molester or not. It's about whether or not he'll vote with the president.

SESAY: If the president had managed to score other legislative wins, or any legislative wins really, to be accurate, do you think he would have been in a position of embracing a Roy Moore? Is this done out of desperation?

GENOVESE: Well, if he had had earlier successes, he would have had less need to do this. He might have done it anyway because Trump seems to have an affinity for people who will say that he is nice, will flatter him, will like him. And Moore is one of the people in that base in the tea party kind of base.

And so there is a connection between them. But he's desperate. You use the word. He is desperate for a win. He's got no legislative victories. We're coming to the end of the first year. If he doesn't get tax cuts through, people are going to start locking at him and saying he is a failure.

SESAY: OK. Coming to the end of the year, moving us closer to those midterm elections. You have to ask what is the legacy...


SESAY: ... of a President Trump embracing someone like Roy Moore with these kinds of allegations. What is a legacy for the GOP brand, and furthermore, for the 2018 elections?

GENOVESE: Well, the party of Lincoln is becoming the party of Hugh Hefner. And if that's the case, when you come into the 2018 elections, they have to stand with an alleged or accused child molester as one of the faces of the party. And how do you do that? How do you use that as the poster child for the Republican Party?

In the short-run I think it's a -- it would be a win for Donald Trump. He'll gate vote. In the long run I think it spells disaster for the Republican Party. Because that is going to be what the democrats brand as the face of the Republican Party.

SESAY: OK. The democrats, as you bring them up. Let's talk about the allegations that rocked Capitol Hill on Tuesday involving John Conyers, allegations made against him by members of staff, settlements made from his own personal office revenue, if you will.

[03:10:04] The point has been made by some political analysts that due to Conyers' age, seniority, and race, it places democrats in a difficult situation when it comes to handling this matter. How do you see it?

GENOVESE: We're all in a difficult position, males especially. Because for decades, centuries, we have benefitted from this privilege of being males. Women have been in the subservient position. And so we use power. We use position. We use intimidation to dominate and control.

That's been shaken up, thankfully. That's a good thing. And so people like Al Franken, Conyers and other, and there are many, many of them, are now having to face a really difficult truth, which is even though culturally that was accepted years ago, it was always wrong. And why didn't I know it was wrong.

SESAY: But many years ago, I mean, the legislation has been on the books. It's been quite well-known that this kind of behavior is unacceptable, and in cases breaking the law.

GENOVESE: Right. But social practice is a different thing. And in the workplace or in politics, men in power, men who have position use it over people. They use it over men in one way. But to use it over women, it's for other kinds of favors. It's for sexual favors.

And so, breaking that chain is hugely important. This needs to be not just a moment of punishing people who misbehaved. It also needs to be a learning time, a time when we change the culture. Because if we don't change the culture, putting a few people out of a job is not going to have a big impact. We need to change the way men think about women.

SESAY: When it comes to the democrats, should they be standing up and saying zero tolerance policy Franken, Conyers have to go?

GENOVESE: Something like that, yes. I mean, you don't jump ahead of the story, but to the extent that these are true and they seem quite credible, especially the Al Franken story, then it's going to be hard for the democrats to say, yes, that's OK, we'll forgive you this.

Then it only becomes the question of power, the same thing that Donald Trump is doing with republicans and Roy Moore, the democrats cannot do and survive very effectively with people like Conyers and Franken and maybe others who would be exposed later.

SESAY: But what we have seen from the democrats is this call for ethics committee investigations, which have been opened up for Franken, it have been open up for Conyers now.


SESAY: Even that, does that seem -- is the danger that of being seen as giving them a pass, given what is known about the ethics committee and how long investigations take.


SESAY: And the penalty seeming to some as slap on the wrist.

GENOVESE: But most of the ethics investigations are below the radar. This is going to be front and center. And so, it's going to be much more difficult to cover it up or to paper over what they did. I think this is going to be taken very seriously because the attention not just in Hollywood, but in politics, and even in the workplace.

Women are now finally starting to say wait a second, this has happened to me. This has happened to my sister. This has happened to this person, my friend. And so it's not the unusual event. These are things women experience. And men have a hard time understanding it. In part, because we like the privilege of being in power. But also, in part, because we haven't been the victims.

And so, we need to listen to the victims. Ninety nine percent I'm sure the victims are telling the truth and we need to be sensitive to that and say it could have been my mother, my sister, my wife. And so we need to educate men more than women need to change. Men have to change.

SESAY: I couldn't agree more. It's good to hear a man say it. Michael Genovese, I appreciate it. Thank you.

GENOVESE: Thank you.

SESAY: Well, turning now to new details and another story we've been following. CBS and PBS have cut ties with veteran journalist Charlie Rose after eight women accused him of sexual harassment in a Washington Post report. After the Post article came out Monday, several other women also came forward with allegations of misconduct by Rose. He has apologized and admits to, quote, "inappropriate behavior."

During an appearance on the late show Stephen Colbert, his former co- host on CBS this morning Gayle King said this.


GAYLE KING, CO-HOST, CBS: It's a stunning thing that's happened in the last 24 hours. Monday your world is one way. And in 24 hours, Charlie has been suspended and then he has been fired.

Charlie Rose who was an icon in this country. I'm still wrapping my brain around that, but again, I go back to what these women are going through. And I applaud them for speaking up.

If anything changes in this, what I do hope is that people will speak up and that companies are sending a message that we have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior. And that is a very important thing.



SESAY: Well, King also says she feels raw. Ahead, we'll talk about the challenges women face in coming forward with sexual harassment allegations. Stay with us.


SESAY: Hello, everyone. Russia is trying to find a political solution to the Syrian civil war. But Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is not expected to go anywhere.

In a few hours, Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to host a meeting in Sochi of two key power brokers, the presidents of Iran and Turkey. The three leaders, they all have different interests in Syria, but they say they could reach an agreement.

Meanwhile, earlier Mr. Putin discussed Syria with U.S. President Donald Trump by phone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We had a great call with President Putin. We're talking about peace in Syria. Very important. We're talking about North Korea. We had a call that lasted almost an hour and a half. We just put out a release on the call. But we're talking very strongly about bringing peace to Syria. We're talking very strongly about North Korea and Ukraine.


SESAY: Well, Russia is taking the lead on ending the Syrian conflict, while the U.S. appears to have been shifted into the back seat.

CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance joins us now from Moscow. Matthew, as far as Donald Trump is concerned, the call with Russian President Vladimir Putin was great. What's the view from Moscow?

[03:19:54] MATTHEW CHANCE, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, they didn't describe it as great. But they said he was business- like and informative. They discussed a whole range of issues, not just Syria. That was the primary reason for the call by Vladimir Putin, the Russian President to his U.S. counterpart to discuss the outcome of that meeting that he held in Sochi in southern Russia with Bashar al- Assad.

Of course, the Russian government has been providing military support to prop up the Assad regime in Syria for the past couple of years.

But they also spoke about other issues like the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the situation in Afghanistan and the ongoing problems in Ukraine. And what the Russians are saying, this illustrates just how broad the relationship is or should be between the United States and Russia.

But the course of the problems and the allegations of election meddling by the Russians in the U.S. presidential election in 2016, all of that progress that could be made has essentially not been made. And so, the Russians said yes, it was a business-like conversation. Progress was made on the Syria issue. But there could be much more progress if there weren't so many problems in the diplomatic relationship between Russia and the United States.

SESAY: Staying with the Syria issue, as we just told our viewers, that Putin and along with the leaders of Turkey and Iran will hold a summit to discuss finding a way toned hostilities in Syria. To the best of our knowledge, is there a defined road map under consideration for the summit?

CHANCE: I think there is not a road map, but there is certainly some general parameters that we believe are going to be discussed. I mean, the country is essentially -- look, the main combat operations in the country have essentially come to an end.

There is still, as the Russians say pockets of resistance which means there is still fighting going on in various areas. But ISIS has been more or less defeated from its strongholds and kicked out of Raqqa, for instance.

The country is essentially divided between areas under government control under Kurdish control, and under rebel control. Some of the rebels backed by the Turkish authorities, the Turkish government. And the Congress that is going to be held here, the meeting between the leaders of Iran, Turkey and Russia will be to essentially sort of spell out those internal borders of the country. And to work out how a ceasefire between those various factions can be enforced and will be enforced.

And so it's a kind of peace conference of sorts. But, you know, whether it's going to be the end of the process, I doubt very much. It's probably just another step in the process towards that ultimate aim. The key thing, of course, that the United States is not involved.

SESAY: Right.

CHANCE: I mean, it's conspicuous by its absence. Yes, Vladimir Putin made a courtesy call to Donald Trump last night. But the Americans are not playing a significant role it seems in forging a peace settlement in the Syrian conflict.

SESAY: CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance breaking it all down for us from Moscow. Matthew, thank you.

All right. This just in to us here at CNN. Some breaking news. A U.S. Navy aircraft with 11 people on board has crashed into the Philippines Sea off the Coast of Okinawa.

Let's bring in our Ivan Watson who joins us now from Hong Kong with more. Ivan, what can you tell us?

IVAN WATSON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: So far we just have the initial statement published by the U.S. Navy. And we're looking for more information, of course. But what they are announcing is that at 2.45 local time in the afternoon, that's about two and a half hours ago, a U.S. Navy aircraft crashed into the ocean.

And now search and recovery efforts, rescue efforts are underway for the 11 crewmembers and passengers who were aboard that aircraft. They say that it was en route to an aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan.

The kind of aircraft has not been specified, whether it was a fixed wing aircraft or possibly some kind of a helicopter or one of those Ospreys with the wings that kind of move and can go from vertical takeoff position to flying like a fixed wing aircraft.

But, yes, this is an incident that has taken place. And the names of the crew and passenger are not being publicized just yet until families and relatives can be informed of this crash. And this is taking place, again, with one of the aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan.

That was one of three aircraft carriers that was dispatched to the Western Pacific Ocean to participate in these unprecedented three aircraft carrier exercises that have been conducted this month, which have greatly angered North Korea, because they're shown as a show of U.S. military force against North Korea. Isha?

SESAY: Ivan Watson joining us there from Hong Kong with the latest on this U.S. Navy aircraft with 11 people on board that has crashed into the Philippines Sea off the Coast of Okinawa. Ivan, we'll check back in with you. Thank you.

[03:25:03] They say now to the United Nations commander that says North Korea has violated its armistice agreement with South Korea twice. It happened last week as soldiers chased a defecting soldier.

You look at these pictures, dramatic pictures. First they fired more than 40 rounds across the demilitarized zone. A South Korean doctor says the 24-year-old was shot up to five times. Then a North Korean soldier briefly crossed the military demarcation line as he ran off the defector.

The U.N. command has notified North Korea of these violations and wants a meeting.

Let's bring in CNN's Anna Coren who joins me now from Suwon, South Korea. Anna, dramatic images of an armistice violations, what more are we learning about what happened?

ANNA COREN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes, incredible footage, isn't it, Isha? This is something we rarely see. But the U.S.-led U.N. command decided to share the CCTV footage of this dramatic defection. As you say, this 24-year-old soldier from North Korea got in a jeep in the demilitarized zone, the DMZ. He was driving through the JSA, the joint security area.

Now this area is the only point in the DMZ where the soldiers from North and South Korea face off. There is no wall, no fence as such. So he had a jeep speeding through the JSA. He drives past a North security checkpoint, obviously alerting the soldiers there who then chase him on foot.

Shortly after that, he crashes the car. He hits a ditch, jumps out of the jeep, and he runs across the demarcation line into South Korea under a hail of bullets. These four North Korean soldiers firing at him. One runs across the line, the demarcation line, realizes what he has done, and then runs back.

And then obviously the others were firing into South Korea. So here is where you have the violation of the armistice, which was put in 1953 as part of that ceasefire between North and South Korea for the Korean War.

But as for that North Korean defector, Isha, he managed to get 50 meters into South Korea where he then collapsed against a wall. He was found amongst the leaves some 40 minutes later after he crossed by South Korean soldiers who then obviously treated him, Isha.

SESAY: Wow. Absolutely remarkable images. And just very briefly, what condition is he in? Do we know? COREN: Yes. We are here at the university hospital where he is being

treated. He was flown here shortly after that by a black hawk. And we spoke to the surgeon who looked after him. And he said that when he arrived, he had lost more than 50 percent of his blood. He'd suffered up to four or five gunshot wounds. They had to remove one bullet.

He said that he was almost dead when he reached the operating theater. But he underwent two major surgeries and is now in a stable condition. When they were operating on him, Isha, they discovered these parasites, these parasitic worms which look, is quite a common thing. But he was shocked at how many were in his stomach and the length.

Some up to 25 centimeters, which I really goes to show the malnutrition and the poor conditions that the people of North Korea live in. And certainly these are soldiers who are generally treated better than general civilians.


COREN: But just a few interesting tidbits, since he has become conscious, he has been watching Hollywood and South Korean movie. He is listening to a bit of K-pop too. The doctor said he is going to remain in ICU for some time, Isha.

SESAY: OK. Well, at least he found some diversions. Anna Coren joining us there from Suwon, South Korea. I appreciate it. Thank you.

We're going the take a quick break. A historic moment in Zimbabwe. Its decades long leader Robert Mugabe resigns after an apparent military coup. And people in Zimbabwe responded like this.


DAVID MCKENZIE, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Look at this, I mean, this guy with his flag. The people have been under economic strain for years who have really not just suffer through hyperinflation and all these other issues. Well, this is their release. This is their moment.

The security guards add with ordinary citizens marching in the streets. It's a historic scene, a history evening. And I wish all of the viewers could come here and experience this with me. Because this is a country that can change overnight.


SESAY: Scenes of jubilation. We'll discuss what's next when Newsroom continues.


[03:33:14] ISHA SESAY, NEWSROOM HOST, CNN: To Zimbabwe, and preparations for the country's first new President in nearly four decades. Former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to return to the country in the coming hours and be sworn in by Thursday. 93-year-old Robert Mugabe resigned Tuesday, one week after an apparent military coup. He ruled with an iron fist since independence 1980, and his hard line policies drove the once flourishing economy into ruin. CNN Dave McKenzie was in the streets of Harare when news of his resignation broke.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The scenes here are incredible. Zimbabwean flags in the air. People on trucks here celebrating, jumping up and down. I can't overstate what this means to ordinary Zimbabweans. This means the end of an era, possibly the start of a new dawn. And look at these scenes of celebration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is gone, he is gone!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Zimbabwe went live and everyone was happy. Just a moment of freedom. It was a dream come true for everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were in crisis for a long time. And this is a New Canaan for Zimbabweans.

MCKENZIE: The new dawn?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's work together for the betterment of Zimbabwe.


SESAY: CNN teams have been reporting from Zimbabwe since the apparent coup. Our own Farai Sevenzo was there for the celebration and joining us live from the capital Harare. Also with us from London, Geoff Hill, Africa correspondent for the Washington Times. Let me start with you, Farai. News of Mugabe's exit triggered those scenes of jubilation. But what's next for former President Robert Mugabe and his wife grace? Do we know?

[03:35:04] FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isha, I'm going to tell you, Harareans, the people in this capital city of Zimbabwe don't really care. They just want him to go. What happens to Mr. Mugabe and Mrs. Mugabe, perhaps they'll stay in the country. It's obviously a deal with the military would have meant safe passage if they wanted to leave and of course immunity from prosecution. Which is something that always worried him throughout his 37 years in power. What happens next? Emmerson Mnangagwa, the man who was fired by Mr. Mugabe as Vice President. He needs to be reinstated as the Vice President. And then as far as we know, as far as the CNN teams here on the ground, on Thursday he is due to be sworn in as President.

So were basically shifting power with the military in full support. Let's face it. His firing precipitated the chain of events that led to yesterday's resignation. And indeed, the celebrations on Harare streets on Saturday and again last night. We were out pretty late. The streets were packed. I'm standing right now, Isha, on a street called Nelson Mandela Avenue. Just ten meters to my left is the parliament of Zimbabwe. So tomorrow that will be full of the opposition of anointing Emmerson Mnangagwa as the takeover President. And of course as you're well aware, in 2018, I think its March, I'm not sure of that month, but 2018 Zimbabwe is due to go or the general election to select their leader that would have meant Mr. Mugabe would have gone for it. Now Mr. Mnangagwa will be representing the ruling party.

SESAY: SO between now and then, I think the constitution says the elections at the very latest must be held by July or August, but between now and then, will there be some kind of transition government, some transitional government that involves the opposition?

SEVENZO: Good point, Isha. I am of the opinion, it's only my humble journalism opinion, that it's right for the opposition to make all these kind of noises and suggest a transition government. It's what everybody wants. But who is in power? Who is the man taking over? Who did they do this coup for? Whether or not there will be a transitional government is open for debate. I very much doubt it. With so few months left, where are we? End of November. I doubt that a traditional government is in the offering.

SESAY: Very briefly, for all the jubilation, I keep asking everyone there in Harare, there is the jubilation. But what is the expectation that things will be different with a President Mnangagwa at the helm of Zimbabwe.

SEVENZO: Well, what has happened in the last few days, let us take a look. Saturday of November, these streets were packed. Wandering around all the streets. That means Zimbabweans have tasted a little bit of freedom. They're full of expectations that they can express themselves freely. What happens, whatever government takes over, even Emmerson Mnangagwa's government that I have to take that fact in confident, because it is absolutely important? It combines a government that does not do exactly what his predecessor does which is hand over power to the police where they can break bones and crack skulls at will. It's going to be interesting. What kind of people will be incorporated in his new administration, Isha?

SESAY: It absolutely is very important to see whether this is truly even though (inaudible), we will witness a break from the past. Farai Sevenzo joining us there from Harare. We appreciate the great reporting in the past couple of days. Thank you so much. Let me turn now to Geoff Hill who joins us now from London. Jeff, you heard Farai say that Zimbabweans have tasted a little bit of freedom, a willingness or ability to express themselves. And Farai's point is the new President will have to take that into consideration as he governs Zimbabwe. Do you agree? Do you think that is likely?

GEOFF HILL, AUTHOR, WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MUGABE: I agree entirely with Farai. Like Farai, I almost also a Zimbabwe citizen. I don't believe that Mnangagwa will be to put the former treasurer said put the genie back into the bottle. We saw this when the Berlin wall came down. It was impossible for the old regimes of Eastern Europe to go back to their hard line ways. And each one of them had to eventually, sometimes reluctantly give way to democracy once the crowds had spoken. [03:40:20] SESAY: Ok. That is an interesting point. I guess my

question now is ZANU-PF, you know as people have made the point, this is simply a transfer of power within the ruling party. What is the state of ZANU-PF now? Is it even stronger and where does it leave the opposition?

HILL: No. It's much weakened, because so many people have been expelled. Sometimes called Mugabe's information guru who controlled the state media, radio and television. These people have now had to leave the party. And so there are these enormous divisions. What are they going to do? They're going to be sabotaging I suspect the party from outside. So it's not as cohesive a force as it used to be. This is a time for the opposition and the people of Zimbabwe if they're ever going to press home their democracy, this is the time to do it.

SESAY: Does Emmerson Mnangagwa have any support beyond ZANU-PF those who have brought him to take the helm of Zimbabwe and obviously the army? Does he have a power base amongst the populists in Zimbabwe? Obviously we know Robert Mugabe, he did hold on to the power base within the rural areas. Not so much that were seen in urban spaces. What about the soon to be President?

HILL: Robert Mugabe was able to intimidate the rural areas, because there were no TV cameras, and it was easier to eject journalists from there. He was not able to intimidate the cities. Emmerson Mnangagwa comes from the center of the country he is from the (inaudible) clan. Zimbabwe, even with the people is made up of a number of clans. He is going to need to balance the government, the people from the east and the north, and of course from the Matabele who underwent the genocide of the 1990's who want to open their mass graves and maybe even want to send people like Mnangagwa to the (inaudible). This is going to be a very delicate balance for him to be able to unite the country when himself, perhaps doesn't even have a majority of support among his own Shona people.

SESAY: It's a very, very fine walk. We'll see. He is supposed to be sworn in by Thursday. Geoff Hill, we really appreciate the incite. We'll get you back to keep the conversation going. Thank you.

HILL: Thank you, Isha.

SESAY: All right. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.


[03:45:54] SESAY: Actor and singer David Cassidy has died. The 67- year-old was best known for his role in the 1970s TV show "The Partridge family." According to his publicist, Cassidy died after suffering from organ failure. He'd been in the intensive care unit at a Florida hospital. His nephew tweeted shortly after the news broke, saying my uncle passed away, and in the process of mourning, I can't help but thank god for the joy that he brought to countless millions of people. I don't think I'm alone in saying we will all miss him. God speed. Here is CNN Stephanie Elam now with a look back at David Cassidy's life. (BEGIN VIDEO)


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of those nights.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: David Cassidy was the ultimate teenaged idol. Known for his role as Keith in the 1970s hit TV series "The Partridge family," Cassidy's fresh face, wide eyed charm captured the hearts of millions of girls worldwide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're taking auto shop.


ELAM: "The Partridge family," a musical sitcom about a family in a rock 'n roll band gave Cassidy a national audience for his own music.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I love you.

ELAM: I think I love you, the show's first single, topped the billboard 100 in 1970 and sold over 5 million copies.

DAVID CASSIDY, ULTIMATE TEENAGED IDOL: I was always a musician. I always played. But I never pursue mid-career as a musician. It was just fate, you know, the way the stars aligned themselves.

ELAM: Cassidy's wispy voice and wholesome persona broke out from the small screen into sold-out arenas around the globe. His fan club at one time reportedly had more members than Elvis or the Beatles. But in 1972, at the height of his partridge family fame, Cassidy began to shift away from his squeaky team image. He appeared naked on the cover of rolling stone magazine. And in the article admitted using drugs and alcohol. It marked a turning point in his career and his life. Four years after "The Partridge family" hit the air, his teenaged fan base had moved on, and so had Cassidy.

CASSIDY: His hero worship was so great, I had to leave it. I couldn't stand it any longer.

ELAM: Superstardom long behind him, Cassidy turned to Broadway. In 1993 he starred in the British musical "Blood brothers." Three years later he moved to Vegas and headlined the MGM grand EFX show at the time the largest theatrical production in the world. In private, though, Cassidy struggled with alcoholism, a battle that would soon take a very public turn. In his 60's, Cassidy faced multiple charges of driving under the influence and went through rehab.

CASSIDY: It's very humbling, and it's also humiliating.

ELAM: But his biggest battle was yet to come. In 2017, Cassidy revealed that he suffered from dementia. His mother had died of complications from Alzheimer's disease only a few years before.

CASSIDY: To watch someone that raise you'd and was so vibrant start to lose -- lose their mind and disappear is arguably the most painful thing I've ever experienced.

ELAM: Looking back on his own life, there is one memory Cassidy hopes will never fade, his 1972 concert in Madison Square Garden. Cassidy leaped on to the stage in his signature white skin jumpsuit. Thousands of adoring fans screamed his name. His own family among them.

CASSIDY: It was just so emotional for me. And I just felt so blessed to have that moment with them. I mean, it's a highlight of my life.


SESAY: Still ahead, we're going have much more for you on the breaking news that a U.S. Navy aircraft crashes off the coast of Okinawa. We're going have a live report for you after a quick break. Stay with us.


[23:53:32] SESAY: Hello, everyone. More on our breaking news. A U.S. Navy aircraft with 11 people on board has crashed into the Philippine Sea off the coast of Okinawa. The navy not giving details on the condition of crew or passengers. We understand the search and rescue operation is underway. Let's go right now to Hong Kong for CNN's Ivan Watson who is standing by. Ivan, what are we hearing about this search-and-rescue operation?

IVAN WATSON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The U.S. Navy announced that this took place about 2:45 p.m. Local time. So it's just under three hours ago, and that it was a navy aircraft on its way to the U.S. Aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan. That it crashed. We don't know the circumstances of that crash. And that search-and- rescue operations are under way for 11 passengers and crew on board. We have since heard from the Japanese minister of defense. The ministry has confirmed it was a c-2 transport plane, and that is a navy transport plane that can actually land on the deck of an aircraft carrier and is catapulted off of that. I've arrived on a U.S. Aircraft carrier by means of transportation in the past.

And the Japanese minister of defense has said that eight of the people that were on board the aircraft have been rescued. But the search is still under way for the remaining missing passengers and crew. So this is very much something that is still taking place right now. It took place off the coast of the Japanese island of Okinawa in the Philippine Sea.

[03:55:05] Okinawa of course a base for tens of thousands of U.S. Servicemen and women. There are multiple aircraft, navy, military bases on that island. And operations and exercises taking place around that. Most recently, a notable one, a trilateral aircraft carrier, three aircraft carriers from the U.S. Navy operating in the waters of the western pacific simultaneously. A very potent display of military muscle on behalf of the U.S. Military that North Korea has objected to. Isha?

SESAY: And Ivan, I'm almost out of town, but I need you to put this in perspective for me. This is just one in a series of incidents, this crash that we're talking about?

WATSON: It has been a deadly year for the U.S. Navy. There were collisions, U.S. Navy destroyers in June and August that combined, resulted in the deaths of at least 17 sailors. And the U.S. Navy report came to the conclusion that those collisions could have been avoided, and that there were a number of mistakes that were made by the crew, by the commanding officers of those vessels. More recently on the island of Okinawa itself over the weekend, a U.S. Marine crashed and killed a Japanese local while inebriated. And that has resulted in a decision to suspend all alcohol for servicemen and women on the island of Okinawa. So it's been a difficult and deadly year for the U.S. Armed services in the Pacific Ocean this year. Isha?

SESAY: It definitely has. Ivan Watson joining us there with the very latest from Hong Kong. Ivan, appreciate it. Thank you. And for those us, of you rather staying with CNN international, next hour we'll write you the verdict in the war crimes trial of Ratko Mladic. He is accused in the massacre of more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995. A U.N. Court will be handing down the ruling at The Hague. We'll bring you that verdict to you when it happens. For those of you in the United States, "Early start" is next. I'm Isha Sesay. Thank you for watching.